Project 8: Aquafin – Environmental impact study

Planning Realisation Monitoring Evaluation
Aquafin – Environmental impact study

Sewage contains a large amount of heat that could potentially be used for renewable heating. A lot of heat produced in the urban water cycle for washing, taking a shower, etc. is lost through the sewage. This project studies the option to regain this energy with a heat pump and whether it affects the sewerage system or waste water treatment.

While green heat recovery from sewage has local benefits, it reduces the temperature of the sewage and has the potential to have considerable negative influence on waste water treatment.

The project is aiming to give a scientifically proven answer to the questions:

  • Is heating with sewage heat a cheap and and good alternative to traditional heating? Does it reduce our ecological footprint?
  • What are possible negative side effects on waste water treatment: quality of the effluent flowing towards the receiving surface water, treatment plant energy consumption, and green house gas emissions?

Evaluating heat extraction locations in sewerage systems, taking all relevant parameters and side effects into account, is not an easy task. Based on the monitoring campaign, modeling studies, and scenario evaluation, a scientifically proven decision support system will be created to aid planning and decision making on heating systems.

Currently, the temperature monitoring campaign in Antwerp-South started, data collection is ongoing and modeling work is initialized.